Music festivals aren’t just for your 20s. A host of new events are taking the best parts of the party, and throwing in a little sophistication.
Since the Summer of Love, music festivals have been an exciting way to while away sunny weekends, see your favourite bands, and generally revel in all the good vibes.
That said, there comes a time when porta-loos, public vomiting, plastic ponchos, mud slides, binge drinking, and general reckless abandon all start to lose their charm.
For the sake of good times, great weather, and even greater tunes however, a number of new festivals have been popping up in Australia that have removed some of the grittier parts of festival days.
Think gourmet food, optional picnic hampers, glamping, craft beers, yoga classes, and renewable energy. For these festivals, the party can carry on well beyond your wild 20s, with or without the hang over.
Here are a few of Lifestyle’s favourites:
Created by the founders of New Year’s Eve extravaganza Lost Paradise – Lost Picnic is hosted in The Domain in Sydney, and has much more of a relaxed, family feel. For founder and CEO Symon Beckingham, the festival really reflects his own passions in life. “I love food, music and entertainment,” he offers.
“Breaking bread with friends, and listening to live music in a beautiful space. I absolutely love picnics and wanted that to be at the core of the concept, where families and music lovers can enjoy a wholesome day out.”
On the music line up for this year’s festivities are Sarah Blasko, Fat Freddy’s Drop and a Beatles cover group, who’ll be playing alongside the Australian Symphony Orchestra. Food is a key part of the day too, and you can purchase specially created picnic hampers from Chur Burger, Mamak, Puntino Trattoria, and more.
From 12pm on Sunday 14 October, tickets are available here.
If a picnic is a little too low key, we can recommend trying out sister event Lost Paradise to celebrate the end of yet another year. Hosted within picturesque Glenworth Valley just north of Sydney, the festival runs from 28th December through to a fun finale night on New Year’s Eve.
For General Manager Rochelle Livingstone, the festival has been a vast success because of its attention to detail, its carefully curated programming of the music, creative theming, and plentiful food options.
“Being in the over-30s demographic myself, I can wholeheartedly say the appeal lies in the inclusiveness of the entire event,” she says.
“I think once you get to a certain age you want some creature comforts. Our glamping tents and gourmet food certainly offer that level of ‘home away from home’ during your festival experience.”
As for what to expect – at Lost Paradise you can choose your own adventure. This year’s music line-up features dance and electronic heavyweights like Rufus, Motorik Vibe Council, and Roland Tings – but there’s also slower pace styles, like Sampa the Great, San Cisco, Little Dragon, and Matt Corby.
You can join the crowds slathered in sequins and body glitter and dance the night away, or take the quieter route and partake in the festival's more low key activities. There’s hip hip yoga, belly dancing, and drumming workshops; bingo, karaoke, and talks on sustainability and the benefits of raw food and plant medicine.
28 - 31 December, tickets available here.
Off the Grid
Off the Grid is Australia’s only festival powered entirely by the sunshine – meaning your more mature sense of social responsibility can be nurtured while you party. Hosted in and around the grounds of the Australian Centre of Contemporary Art (ACCA) in Melbourne’s Southbank, this year’s festival boast’s an impressive line-up of musical acts, all using a sound system powered by nature.
Playing on the day is Tokyo-based DJ Chee Shimizu, psychedelic progressive rock trio Krakatau, and Aussie DJ Ben Fester. There’s also girl group Dianas, effervescent Melbourne-based songstress Kaiit, punk group Two Steps in the Water, and lots more – making it a great mixed bag of up and coming acts.
To eat will be the very best of locally sourced seasonal produce and homemade ferments from Rough Rice and Fresh Fork, and a zero waste bar too. There’s also a set of talks from environmentalists, architects, activists, and entrepeneurs – so you can even pause the party to listen and learn more about future cities and sustainable practices.
9am – 11pm 22 December. Tickets available here.